[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The large consumption of biodegradable films from cassava starch acetate (FCSA) as ingredients in food and pharmaceutical products requires the assessment of the possible toxicity of these products. The aim of this study was to investigate the toxicity of biodegradable film from cassava starch acetate after oral exposure of Wistar rats for 90 days. The amount of food consumed and the body weight were weekly monitored. Blood and urine samples were obtained for the assessment of serum parameters and renal function. Histopathological analyses in target organs were also performed. No evidence of clinical toxicity in hematological, biochemical, or renal parameters in the FCSA-treated animals was found. In addition, relative organ weight and histopathological evaluations did not differ between groups treated with FCSA and control. Data obtained suggest that the subchronic exposure to FCSA does not cause obvious signs of toxicity in Wistar rats, indicating possible safety of this biofilm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although several studies indicate high effectiveness in the use of the hydroethanolic extract from Tropaeolum majus (HETM) as a diuretic, the impact of its prolonged use in the presence of low estrogen levels remains unclear. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the diuretic effects of prolonged administration of HETM in ovariectomized rats and their interrelationship between calcium excretion and bone turnover. Forty-two female Wistar rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and treated orally with different doses of HETM (3, 30, and 300 mg/kg) for 4 weeks. On the first day of treatment and at weekly intervals for four weeks the diuretic activity was evaluated. Electrolyte concentrations and creatinine levels were estimated from urine sample of each rat. The serum lipids, urea, creatinine, and osteocalcin were also measured at the end of the experiment. The data revealed that the HETM was able to sustain its diuretic effect after prolonged treatment. Moreover, its use has not affected the urinary calcium or potassium excretion, reduces lipid levels, and maintains osteocalcin levels similarly to untreated rats. These findings support the potential of HETM as a candidate to be used in clinical conditions in which the renal loss of calcium is not desired.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although several studies have shown the inhibitory effects of Tropaeolum majus extracts (HETM) on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity, no studies have been carried out during the beginning of pregnancy, when humoral and hormonal imbalance may affect zygote and early embryo transport. This study investigates whether HETM can affect embryonic development when administered during the one-cell-blastocyst period. Pregnant Wistar rats received orally the HETM (3, 30, and 300 mg/kg/day) from the 1st to the 7th gestational day. Rats were killed on the 8th day of pregnancy and the following parameters were evaluated: clinical symptoms of toxicity (including organ weights), number of corpora lutea, implants per group, preimplantation losses ratio, and the serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), estradiol, and progesterone. No clinical symptoms of maternal toxicity were evidenced. On the 8th day of pregnancy, the levels of DHEA and estradiol were increased and significant preimplantation losses were observed at all doses used. The present study reveals that the HETM can raise levels of DHEA and estradiol and induce difficulty in the embryo implantation in the early stages of pregnancy. The data contributes significantly to the safety aspects of using this natural product when trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated the reproductive effects of fluoxetine exposure in utero and during lactation on pregnancy outcomes and the sexual development of offspring. Pregnant Wistar rats were treated daily with fluoxetine (0.4, 1.7 and 17 mg/kg/day) or distilled water by gavage from gestation day (GD) 7 to lactation day (LD) 21. A significant reduction in maternal body weight was observed during pregnancy and lactation in dams exposed to 17 mg/kg fluoxetine. Hormone analysis revealed an increase in progestagen and glucocorticoid metabolites on GD 15 and estrogen and progestagen metabolites on LD 7 in dams treated with 17 mg/kg fluoxetine. Estrogen metabolites also were increased on LD 7 in dams treated with 0.4 mg/kg fluoxetine. Besides that, an increase in the weight of the adrenal glands and a reduction in uterine weight in dams exposed to highest dose of fluoxetine was observed. Finally, pup birth weight and the viability and weaning indices also were reduced in animals exposed to 17 mg/kg fluoxetine. Overall, maternal hormonal changes were only observed at the highest dose tested, which also induced maternal and foetal toxicity. No significant changes were seen in dams or offspring exposed to therapeutic-like doses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artemisinins combination therapy (ACT) is the first choice therapy for falciparum malaria. Data on the safety of ACTs in pregnancy are limited and controversial and the use is not recommended on the first trimester. To evaluate the effects of isolated and combined artesunate (AS)/mefloquine (MQ) on embryo rats, pregnant rats were treated orally with AS (15 and 40 mg/kg body weight (bwt)/day), MQ (30 and 80 mg/kg bwt/day) and AS/MQ (15/30 and 40/80 mg/kg bwt/day) on days 9-11 post coitum (pc). The dams were euthanized on day 12 pc and gestational and embryos histological parameters were evaluated. Embryolethality and histopathological anomalies were significant when AS was given alone or combined with MQ. Combination of AS and MQ did not enhance their toxicity compared to their separate administrations; on the other side, there was a reduction in the toxic effects of the AS when combined with MQ. Isolated MQ did not induce developmental toxicity.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Human & Experimental Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent years have seen an increase in the use of antidepressant drugs, especially fluoxetine (FLX), in sensitive populations, such as pregnant and lactating women. Although some evidence suggests a possible endocrine action of FLX, no specific studies have been performed to investigate this hypothesis. In the present study, we investigated the possible (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic actions of FLX using Hershberger, uterotrophic (0.4, 1.7, and 17 mg/kg), and reporter gene (7.6–129 μM) assays. In the Hershberger assay, no differences were observed in androgen-dependent organ weights. However, the uterotrophic and gene reporter assays indicated a possible estrogenic action of FLX. Uterine weight increased in the 1.7 and 17 mg/kg/day groups in the 3-day uterotrophic assay in immature rats. Additionally, noncytotoxic concentrations of FLX induced estrogenic responses and increased the estrogenic response of estradiol in MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with luciferase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antimalarial drug combinations containing artemisinins (ACTs) have become first choice therapies for P. falciparum malaria. Data on safety of ACTs in pregnancy are limited and no previous study has been conducted on the developmental toxicity of artesunate-mefloquine combinations on the first trimester of gestation. To evaluate the developmental toxicity of an artesunate/mefloquine combination, pregnant rats were treated orally with artesunate (15 and 40mg/kg bwt/day), mefloquine (30 and 80mg/kg bwt/day) and artesunate/mefloquine (15/30 and 40/80mg/kg bwt/day) on gestation days 9-11. Dams were C-sectioned on day 20, and their uteri and fetuses removed and examined for soft tissue and skeleton abnormalities. Artesunate increased embryolethality and the incidence of limb long bone malformations on the absence of overt maternal toxicity. Mefloquine (80mg/kg bwt/day) was maternally toxic and enhanced fetal variations. Combination of artesunate and mefloquine did not enhance their toxicity compared to the toxicity observed after its separate administration. Embryotoxicity of artesunate was apparently attenuated when it is co-administered with mefloquine.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Reproductive Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of medicinal plants for the treatment of diseases usually comes from the belief that they present low toxicity due their natural origin. However, it is necessary a toxicological and pharmacological evaluation for these plants. Tropaeolum majus is a medicinal plant used in popular medicine to treat several diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, urinary tract infections and asthma. Even though several studies proved its therapeutic effects, there are few toxicological studies with this species.
The present study was carried out to evaluate the subchronic toxicity of the hydroethanolic extract obtained from leaves of T. majus (HETM) in Wistar rats.
Male and female Wistar rats received three doses of HETM (75, 375 and 750 mg/kg) for 28 days. After the treatments biochemical, hematological and histopathological parameters were analyzed.
No significant alterations in the animal's body weight gain, relative organs weight, serum biochemical analysis, hematological or histopathological analyses of liver, kidneys and spleen were observed.
These results demonstrate the absence of subchronic toxicity due to oral treatment with HETM for 28 days in Wistar rats. However, other toxicological studies are necessary to evaluate the total safety of this plant.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Journal of ethnopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent years have seen an increase in the use of antidepressant drugs, especially fluoxetine (FLX), in sensitive populations, such as pregnant and lactating women. Although some evidence suggests a possible endocrine action of FLX, no specific studies have been performed to investigate this hypothesis. In the present study, we investigated the possible (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic actions of FLX using Hershberger, uterotrophic (0.4, 1.7, and 17mg/kg), and reporter gene (7.6-129μM) assays. In the Hershberger assay, no differences were observed in androgen-dependent organ weights. However, the uterotrophic and gene reporter assays indicated a possible estrogenic action of FLX. Uterine weight increased in the 1.7 and 17mg/kg/day groups in the 3-day uterotrophic assay in immature rats. Additionally, noncytotoxic concentrations of FLX induced estrogenic responses and increased the estrogenic response of estradiol in MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with luciferase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) on the male reproductive system. Adult male rats were exposed to NaF in drinking water for 30 days at three concentrations: 1.54 (control, tap water), 50 and 100 ppm. Body and organ weights, daily sperm production, sperm number and morphology were investigated. No difference was observed on the sperm number and morphology among the groups, as well as body weight and organ absolute and relative weights. Overall, despite the presence of a mild degree of dental fluorosis in the higher dose group, the results indicated that exposure to NaF at the doses used in the present study did not adversely affect sperm production and morphology of male rats.
Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tropaeolum majus L. (Tropaeolaceae) is a medicinal herb popularly used in Brazil for treatment of inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. Despite some published data on its efficacy, there are still few toxicological data describing the safety of this plant. The aim of this study was to evaluate the (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic activity of the hydroethanolic extract obtained from Tropaeolum majus L. (HETM), as well as its possible effects on uterine contractility.
Three experimental protocols were performed, (a) uterotrophic assay, (b) Hershberger assay and (c) an ex vivo test to investigate the effects of maternal administration of HETM on uterine contractility at the end of pregnancy. In all protocols three doses of the HETM were administered to Wistar rats: 3, 30 and 300mg/kg.
In vivo tests for detection of (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic activities did not show any significant alterations. Similarly, no alterations were observed on uterine contractility induced by oxytocin and arachidonic acid.
HETM was unable to produce (anti)estrogenic or (anti)androgenic activities in the short-term in vivo screening assays performed. In addition, there was no evidence that HETM can affect uterine contractility following gestational exposure of rats.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of ethnopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Snake venoms present different action mechanisms because of their complex composition, represented mainly by toxins and enzymes. This work aimed to investigate the effects of the Crotalus durissus terrificus(Cdt) venom in the liver. Wistar rats were inoculated intraperitoneally with saline (control) or Cdt venom. After 3, 4, or 6 h, the following parameters were analyzed: (a) hepatic function, (b) oxidative stress parameters, and (c) the metabolism of alanine in the isolated perfused liver. Plasma activities of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase and hepatic glutathione S-transferase and catalase presented significant elevation in rats inoculated with 300 μg ⋅ kg(-1) Cdt venom. Liver lipoperoxidation was enormously increased by venom doses of 100, 200, and 300 μg ⋅kg(-1) , whereas glutathione S-transferase was not changed. Perfused livers from rats inoculated with 1500 μg ⋅kg(-1) venom showed increased production of lactate, pyruvate, and ammonia when alanine was the metabolic substrate. These results demonstrate that the Cdt venom can produce several changes in hepatocytes. The causes of the changes are possibly related to the disequilibrium in the redox homeostasis but also to specific needs of the poisoned organism, for example, an increased supply of lactate and pyruvate in response to an increased activity of the Cori cycle.
Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The in vivo and in vitro effects of the pesticide endosulfan on the cholinesterase (ChE) activity were investigated in rats. ChE activity decreased in dams and in male pups within 65 days corresponding to 35% and 32% of inhibition respectively in the higher endosulfan dose (1.5 mg/kg). In vitro, the enzyme activity was found to be inhibited in a concentration dependent manner. The results suggest that endosulfan is able to inhibit the ChE activity and to cross the placental barrier and/or to be eliminated through milk affecting the enzyme activity in male rat pups.
No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reproduction in humans and other vertebrates requires the careful orchestration ofdevelopmental processes during critical timepoints. The hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad(HPG) axis is crucial for development of the reproductive tract and brain sexualdifferentiation. Maturation of neuroendocrine regulations is an extremely complexprocess made up of several stages which can be affected by exogenous substances.Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are substances able to interfere with thehormonal signaling on several levels, particularly on critical developmental periods.EDCs are a heterogeneous group of xenobiotics with potential endocrine activities andthey have been identified as priority risk factors by toxicological research. Manyexperimental and epidemiological data have shown that exposures to EDCs duringcritical periods of development may cause different functional disorders in animals(thyroid function, reproductive tract and behavior adverse effects), as well as possibleadverse effects on human health (decreased sperm count, increased incidence of the malegenital abnormalities and increased incidence of testicular, endometrial and breastcancer). This chapter begins with a brief history of the endocrine disrupters and thefollowing issues are reviewed: (i) the main agents known to act as endocrine disruption;(ii) targets and mechanisms for action of EDCs and their effects on reproductive function,(iii) in vivo and in vitro experimental protocols recommended by regulatory agencies, andthe importance of the researches on the effects of endocrine disruptors upon animalreproduction and future prospects for research of these substances.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Different products of plant Morinda citrifolia L. (noni) have been marketed and used around the world based on properties described by Polynesian people that use them for more than 2000 years. Marketing of these products is based on their presumptive phytotherapic properties. However there is little scientific evidence about their safety, especially when used during pregnancy.
Evaluate the possible developmental toxicity of the noni fruit aqueous extract and commercial product of TAHITIAN NONI juice in rats exposed during pregnancy.
Pregnant Wistar rats were exposed by gavage to 7, 30 and 300 mg/kg bw (body weight) of noni aqueous extract or to 0.4, 2 and 20 mL/kg bw (body weight) of noni juice between day 7 and day 15 of pregnancy. Caesarean sections were performed on day 20 of pregnancy and reproductive parameters were evaluated. Implantations sites and postimplantation losses were recorded. Fetuses were weighted and examined for externally visible anomalies. After, the fetuses were cleared with KOH and the bones stained with alizarin red. Skeletal alterations of the skull, vertebral column, ribs, forelimbs, hindlimbs, sternum, sings of delayed ossification and variations were examined in accordance with pre-defined criteria and identified using harmonized and internationally accepted nomenclature recommended by the International Federation of Teratology Societies.
Exposure with extract and juice of Morinda citrifolia did not induce maternal toxicity at the tested doses, but induced delayed ossification in fetuses.
The exposure of pregnant rats to aqueous extract or juice Morinda citrifolia during organogenesis period may induce adverse effects on the normal development of fetuses. These findings indicate the need for further studies with noni derivates preceding their use in pregnant women.
No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Journal of ethnopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reproductive effects of the coadministration of di-2-(ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-butyl phthalate (DBP) were studied in both foetal and adult male rat offspring exposed in utero. Pregnant Wistar rats were treated by oral gavage from gestation day 13 to 21 with vehicle control, 150 mg DEHP/kg body weight (bw)/day, 100 mg DBP/kg bw/ or a combination of the two compounds (DEHP 150 + DBP 100 mg/kg bw/day). An additional group of dams received 500 mg DBP/kg bw/day. A significant decrease in foetal testicular testosterone levels was observed in animals exposed to 500 mg DBP/kg/day or the phthalate mixture. Similarly, histological analysis of the foetal testis revealed that the coadministration of DEHP and DBP was able to increase the diameter of seminiferous cords and induce gonocyte multinucleation at doses that individually had no significant effects on these variables. However, in the phthalate mixture group, no significant changes were observed in anogenital distance and nipple retention, variables that are used to indicate possible anti-androgenic effects. Also, the adult endpoints investigated, that included reproductive organ weights and the number of spermatids per testis, were unaffected by any treatment regimen. Overall, coadministration of DEHP and DBP in utero significantly reduced testicular testosterone levels and resulted in misshapen seminiferous cords and gonocyte multinucleation in rat foetal testis. Our results also confirm that these foetal endpoints seem to be the most sensitive markers of prenatal phthalate exposure.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · International Journal of Andrology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was carried out to assess the influence of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) alone or associated with antioxidants on the male reproductive system in newborn rats, emphasizing the implications of oxidative stress and hormonal balance during prenatal and early postnatal periods. Wistar females were exposed by oral route to DEHP alone or associated with antioxidants from gestational day 7 to lactational day 2 according to the following treatment regimens: (C) vehicle control (canola oil + 1% Tween-80); (V) vitamin C (200 mg/kg) + canola oil; (R) resveratrol (10 mg/kg) + canola oil; (D) DEHP (500 mg/kg) + 1% Tween-80; (DV) DEHP (500 mg/kg) + vitamin C (200 mg/kg); and (DR) DEHP (500 mg/kg) + resveratrol (10 mg/kg). Two male pups per litter were randomly selected and necropsied on postnatal day 2. The brain and liver were removed and weighed and anogenital distance (AGD) was measured. Additionally, the testes were removed for assessment of intratesticular testosterone levels and histopathology; the liver was used to measure biomarkers of oxidative stress. Vitamin C and resveratrol alone did not affect the reproductive end points and did not induce oxidative stress. Exposure of dams to DEHP alone and associated with antioxidants resulted in hepatomegaly in offspring and significantly increased the incidence of multinucleated gonocytes in seminiferous cords. Testosterone and AGD presented a trend to decrease in DEHP-exposed groups. Catalase activity increased only in groups exposed to DEHP associated with antioxidants, although GST (gluthatione-S-transferase) activity decreased in all DEHP-exposed groups. The levels of hydroperoxides increased only in group exposed to DEHP associated with vitamin C. These results indicate that the association of DEHP with antioxidants was unable to ameliorate DEHP-induced reproductive changes, and the coadministration of DEHP and these antioxidants might even contribute to an overall increase in oxidative stress.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Investigate the possible effects of Tribulus terrestris (TT) on endocrine sensitive organs in intact and castrated male rats as well as in a post-menopausal rat model using ovariectomized females.
Three different dose levels of TT (11, 42 and 110 mg/kg/day) were administered to castrated males for 7 days and to intact males and castrated females for 28 days. In addition to TT treatment, all experiments also included a group of rats treated with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). In experiments using castrated males and females we also used testosterone and 17 alpha-ethynylestradiol, respectively, as positive controls for androgenicity and estrogenicity.
Neither DHEA nor TT was able to stimulate androgen sensitive tissues like the prostate and seminal vesicle in both intact and castrated male rats. In addition, administration of TT to intact male rats for 28 days did not change serum testosterone levels as well as did not produce any quantitative change in the fecal excretion of androgenic metabolites. However, a slight increase in the number of homogenization-resistant spermatids was observed in rats treated with 11 mg/kg/day of TT extract. In ovariectomized females, TT did not produce any stimulatory effects in uterine and vaginal epithelia.
Tribulus terrestris was not able to stimulate endocrine sensitive tissues such as the prostate, seminal vesicle, uterus and vagina in Wistar rats, indicating lack of androgenic and estrogenic activity in vivo. We also showed a positive effect of TT administration on rat sperm production, associated with unchanged levels of circulating androgens.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Journal of ethnopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phthalates are chemicals employed in several industrial products and there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that they induce numerous adverse effects on the reproductive system. This study was carried out to assess possible alterations induced by the plasticizer di(2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) on cholesterol, testosterone, and thyroxine (total T4) levels, as well as to discuss the significance of these data in global changes observed in the reproductive tract of pubertal animals. Wistar rats aged 21 days received DEHP orally at 0, 250, 500, and 750 mg/kg/day for 30 days and were examined for different reproductive endpoints. At the end of the treatment, significant decreases in relative weight of testosterone-dependent organs, delayed preputial separation, and low serum testosterone were observed at the highest DEHP dose. The plot of the relationship between DEHP dose and serum cholesterol revealed a biphasic effect. The concentration of cholesterol in serum was significantly reduced at 250 mg/kg/day DEHP but returned to control values at 750 mg/kg/day. Cholesterol levels measured in testicular tissue increased with DEHP treatment. Serum T4 levels were not affected by DEHP at any dose, indicating the absence of a link between total thyroxin concentration and phthalate effects on cholesterol levels. Taken together these results indicate that effects observed in serum and testicular cholesterol levels may reflect distinct effects of DEHP on cholesterol synthesis and usage. These results confirm and extend previously reported findings showing that alterations in cholesterol balance may play a role in the suppression of steroidogenesis induced by DEHP in rats.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology